In Part 1 we had a quick look at how pre-production can be an incredibly useful phase of any catalogue printing project as it clarifies precisely what’s going to happen and by whom when the job goes to press. Now, we skip on to the post-production phase of the project and see how to best follow up and start the cycle of continual improvement and innovation.
So, your catalogues are printed and are safely in your fulfilment centre or warehouse. There were probably one or two unexpected twists and turns along the way and your Print Consultant (who’s been through this many times before) has been holding his tongue, dying to say something along the lines of ‘I said this might happen,’ or ‘I told you so!’. But they don’t because they’re professional and know it’ll wind you up.
But there is a place for this conversation, and it’s now.
Post-Production and Innovation Meeting
They can be separate but it can be a good time-saver to combine them, especially when we’re all sat down and focused.
The post-production phase is where we take a look at the production that’s just happened and look at ways to improve. Things like:
- What went wrong (so we can avoid it next time)
- What went right (so we can do it again)
- How the printer performed
- Any surprises
- Any misunderstandings
- How we can formalise the learning so it’s part of the process for the next job
All this learning will be documented and added to the pre-production bible for next time. That way we learn from any mistakes and it becomes process-mapped to create a virtuous cycle each time the project is printed.
The innovation part of the meeting is where we all bring our ideas for exciting new formats, new innovations for existing products, look at items such as interim products that can drive up response rates – and check out what the competition’s doing. It’s where we look at the performance of the print and work out how to boost it further. Out of this can come an agreement for further research or costings of new formats and/or agreements for strategy or product enhancements.
It’s all pretty obvious stuff, but we find that formalising the process in this way really drives the improvement cycle into the business and means we’re continually driving improvements, making all our lives that much easier and, ultimately, making all our catalogues work better for our customers. Which has got to be a very good thing.
You can do this sort of thing yourselves, but our clients find it invaluable to have an experienced, independent 3rd party Print Consultant bring their expertise to bear on the proceedings as they usually identify improvements that you’re too close to see. They also see and manage lots of other catalogue printing projects so are very useful in making suggestions that probably wouldn’t otherwise come to mind.
If you regularly print catalogues and are finding the process difficult to manage, then Webmart’s Print Consultants are here to help. Contact us here and we’ll have your catalogue production running like clockwork in next to no time.